Before and After: A Cleaner Kitchen

How a circa-1980s Arlington kitchen was transformed into a bright and open party zone.

Before shot of the family room

The original family room was largely walled off from the kitchen, with no aesthetic continuity. Although the kitchen, family room and breakfast nook collectively added up to nearly 550 square feet, the lack of sight lines made even the bigger rooms feel small and closed off.


Photo by Larry Golfer

Clemens replaced the traditional fireplace and mantle with a “stacked stone” column that houses both the hearth and a flat-screen TV. Sliding glass doors connect to a covered patio with an outdoor kitchen. The original red oak floors were sanded down and stained with a rusted graphite finish. The flooring is now a unifying element throughout the entire first level.


Photo by Larry Golfer

Clemens and Morales collaborated on the stone selection, ultimately choosing grey and white ledger stones. Built-in ceiling lights reduce clutter by eliminating the need for floor and tabletop lamps.

The homeowners couldn’t be happier with the end result. “About five weeks after the new kitchen was completed, we hosted a party for our daughter’s softball team,” Morales recalls. “There were about 35 people including parents. The easy circulation throughout the kitchen and the outdoor living area was exactly what we’d been looking for.”

Categories: Home & Design